The national office of Sigma Alpha Mu permanently disbanded its University of Michigan chapter Tuesday after its members destroyed more than 40 rooms at a ski resort in January and nobody stepped forward to accept the blame. "The fraternity's board regrets having to take this action," Sigma Alpha Mu said in a statement. "The action was necessary as a result of: a) the lack of cooperation by those responsible for the damage in not coming forward, b) the chapter officers' refusal to identify the members who damaged the hotel property, c) the lack of action to stop the vandalism by bystanders." The damages could cost the ski resort $430,000 to repair, Detroit Free Press reported.
The American Honors Network, a transfer consortium that links community colleges with four-year institutions, has expanded to include more than 50 partner colleges. The for-profit company creates a pathway for students to enroll in a rigorous honors program at host community colleges in five states, where they receive additional academic support, such as advising. The network's four-year colleges have agreed to recruit and enroll those students after they complete the first two years in the program. The group's four-year members include public and private institutions, many of which are selective. New additions include Duke University, Smith College and Purdue University.
Faculty members of the main undergraduate college at Yeshiva University have voted no confidence in President Richard Joel, The Jewish Week reported. Yeshiva University has been facing severe financial problems. Faculty leaders say that cuts are being imposed that have a direct impact on the curriculum, and that a lack of information about which positions will be eliminated makes it difficult to plan. The university's board issued a statement affirming support of Joel and noting that "the Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for ensuring the university is able to move forward with excellence."
Students at Merced College in California are protesting the decision of the board not to renew the appointment of Everett Lovelace as dean of student services, The Merced Sun-Star reported. College leaders will not comment on why Lovelace was not renewed, but students say they saw him as their advocate, and some students have questioned whether he is being treated unfairly because he is black.
A group of more than 20 faculty members from around the country have formed a new coalition to help college athletes become recognized as employees. According to its Web site, the College Athletes Rights & Empowerment Faculty Coalition will partner with players' unions and other associations fighting for stronger protections for college athletes, educate legislators about the issue, and oppose efforts "which seek to allow college sport entities to be 'reformed' in ways that do not result in justice and fairness for athletes whose labor generates revenue for their institutions." Their work will focus on athletes involved in men's basketball and football.
The coalition includes sports management, economics and law professors from more than a dozen colleges; two faculty members from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is facing lawsuits from athletes who say being steered toward fraudulent "paper classes" there robbed them of an education; and three faculty members from institutions in Michigan, which recently passed a law barring college athletes from unionizing.
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Instead of practicing on Thursday, University of Oklahoma football players held a silent demonstration protesting the behavior of an Oklahoma fraternity that was caught on video using racist slurs while singing about not allowing black members to join the fraternity. In a statement, the football players said the video is a symptom of "a larger disease," and called on the university to investigate and "severely discipline" responsible members of the chapter's executive board. Two students who were seen leading the chant have already been expelled.
"The chant was not invented by the two that led it, but taught to underclassmen by people of higher authority," the players stated. "As a team, we have come to a consensus that, in any organization, the leadership is responsible for the culture created, and in this case, encouraged.”
In an apology released by his father earlier this week, one of the expelled SAE members stated that the racist song "was taught to us."
The football players' statement, released on Twitter by the team's quarterback, is one of several public responses athletes have made to the video this week. A football recruit who had committed to play at Oklahoma on Monday tweeted that he was withdrawing his commitment, and a current linebacker for Oklahoma, Eric Striker, sent a video through Snapchat furiously calling out members of SAE and other fraternities who cheer on black players when they’re on the field, only to sing racist songs behind their backs. “Same motherfuckers that talk about racism doesn’t exist are the same motherfuckers shaking our hands, giving us hugs, telling us how you really love us,” Striker said. “Fuck you phony-ass, fraud-ass bitches.”
In their statement Thursday, the players thanked the team's coaching staff for "supporting each and every action we have taken, even when these actions may have seemed extreme."
Faculty members at Northwestern Michigan College voted 65 to 16 to form a union affiliated with the National Education Association, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported. The new bargaining unit includes 90 full-time and part-time faculty members who are not supervisors. The college said in a statement that it “will begin negotiations with the [union] for an agreement that will cover wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment.”